Monday, September 15, 2014

Red Poll Cattle - Moving Into Autumn

The Red Poll girls have been covering every inch of the field, tasting different grasses and even a few broad leaf weeds. They must be well fed, as they are fat and sleek and often can't be bothered to come in for grain or apples. They're just too full and lazy to walk to the barn:

Case in point - they are comfy and relaxed. Why expend extra energy?:

My brush hogging the field has made a big difference, helping the tender, green grasses to grow and setting back the Goldenrod which had threatened to take over the field:

One day I gave them a bale of hay as a treat. They enjoyed it briefly, and then left the rest of it to rot:

And speaking of well fed, Rosella is growing at an astounding rate. She's up and with the big girls all the time now and clearly is not missing any meals. Her mom is making so much milk that it is leaking out the ends of her teats. Yes, Rosella is doing well:

The girls have been slightly less friendly lately, though I'm not sure what that's about. Perhaps they're just too well fed to put up with this two legged interloper:

Their red coats shine in the sun, but especially so in the morning light. Last winter their coats took on a dull, brown color, and I'm wondering if they'll do the same thing this winter:

Rosella regards me with interest, but also with alarm if I reach out to her or get too close. I suppose she'll tame down with time:

Rosella's main interest right now is still in her mother:

And she runs in a fun and charming way. It's fun to watch:

I've got about two thirds of the winter hay supply stored beside the fence and have already made plans for obtaining the rest of what I'll need:

All in all, they are a happy and healthy herd:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Riverside Trail - Part 3

We were hiking the Riverside Trail along the banks of the St. Regis River and began to see these lovely Gentians in bloom. It's difficult for me to know which species they were, but comparing them to my field guide now, after the fact, I'm inclined to call them Soapwort Gentians:

We pushed onward through the shoreline brush as the trail got longer and less well marked. I had not yet seen the trail intersection which would give us another route back to the car and I was becoming concerned. The dogs, however, were still having a grand time:

The trail continued to be sparsely marked, and then not at all. We retreated back into the forest to search for it, leaving the river just close enough to act as a guidepost:

I explored several possible trails which proved to be illusions. I finally decided that our only option was to return the way we came, so we started back along the riverside trail. Daphne and Clover danced out onto the rocks whenever possible:

Papillons aren't much for swimming, but rock hopping is definitely a specialty:

We returned the way we'd come, retracing our steps through the forest:

There were lots of white mushrooms growing on the forest floor, but these yellow beauties were my favorites:

Seamus and I were both slowing down at this point. In fact, I had to help Seamus over a fallen log and it became apparent that his back legs were very tired:

But the St. Regis River was ever present, ever lovely, a wild presence wherever we hiked:

We made fewer riverside stops on the way back, yet still there were places where we just couldn't resist:

We stopped at the river one last time where the trail made a sharp turn back into the forest and up the steep incline back toward where we'd parked:

It was all forest from then on and we were tired - even the Papillons. Poor Seamus was so exhausted that he needed help standing up when we'd returned home (he was all better by the next morning). So the Riverside Trail in Parishville had lots of surprises for us, both good and bad. But the most memorable part of the hike was the magnificent, wild St. Regis River:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Riverside Trail - Part 2

We'd reached the St. Regis River and did a bit of rock hopping and exploring, but there was more trail to hike, so we went back to dry land and continued following it. Riverside trail, true to its name, stayed right along the shoreline:

And the views were stunning, the river sometimes churning wildly and sometimes placid:

We stopped frequently, whenever there were rocks on which we could venture out:

Occasional trees on the opposite shore were turning scarlet already, and Clover looked tiny and fragile as she walked along the edge of a broad, flat rock:

Daphne and Fergus were all smiles:

Just then I began to see Cardinal Flowers in bloom, with a red so intense that it seemed they might glow in the dark. Cardinal Flower is a scarlet Lobelia, a true joy to behold:

Seamus was not as adventurous as he used to be, and often stayed back on shore instead of rock hopping:

Goldenrod and ferns populated the open parts of the shoreline:

And Fergus posed beside a few more Cardinal Flowers:

Clover peeked around a corner to see what I was doing:

One last photo of Fergus and the river before we got back on the trail and continued hiking to wherever it would take us:

As soon as we were back in the forest, we encountered these Bunchberries and mosses. But there was more to see on the Riverside Trail and I'll post Part 3 tomorrow: